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🔵 Deezer unveils a much smarter approach to streaming fraud
Spotify's recently announced changes look a little convoluted compared to this.
No sooner has Spotify announced its revised take on remuneration than Deezer unveils (albeit in a very subtle manner) a fourth element to its own remuneration change.
Spotted by the eagle-eyed team at MBW, this additional change arguably trumps Spotify's own attempts to crack down on streaming fraud.
How? Let's dig into it.
Under the new system, Deezer will measure a user's listening habits against a capped 1,000 plays approach. What this means is that the weighting of each users's listens will only ever count as 1,000 plays.
For example, if you listened to something 2,000 times, each play would only count as 0.5 streams each. 10,000 plays (good luck!) would be 0.1 streams each.
What this means is that no single user can swing the overall outcome in quite the same way, and that in turn makes running streaming farms and other fraudulent systems a lot harder.
It's actually pretty ingenious.
Compare this Spotify's model and I'd imagine rights holders will be wishing Deezer's system would become a new global standard here. After all, if you compare the two, one feels relatively straightforward (admittedly once you wrap your head around it) whilst the other involves penalties and arguably a system that pushes the responsibility to manage fraud back to those distributing the music itself.
It is at times like this I find myself wondering why there isn't more of an effort to bring a consistency across these different streaming platforms. Simply put, if Universal knew Deezer had this idea in mind, why did it not seek to have Spotify take a similar approach?
Doubtless I am over-simplifying things, but it strikes me that we might now see a more fragmented system around payouts from DSPs, and in a manner that does not ultimately benefit anyone. The ideal we are all hoping for is a landscape where artists are more fairly remunerated and, if anything, management of payments is simplified.
This latest change, if anything, only adds to the headache of any rights holder when it comes to calculating income.
But let's keep a positive focus for now. The reality is that this move is a very simple-but-smart one on Deezer's part, and for that they should be congratulated.
Have a great evening,
🎶 written whilst listening to "Pumpkin Spice Everything" by LVCRFT, because listening to anything else on Halloween would be crazy. How many Halloween songs sport sub bass and a rhythm you could legitimately bogle to? I rest my case.
🤖 playing with ChatGPT’s new audio mode, allowing you to talk to it conversationally. Once you hear the natural tone of GPT’s responses, Google Assistant, Siri et al all look pretty archaic. Video demo here.
📖 reading “The Burning Leg”, a compilation of walking scenes from classic fiction. Sounds a little odd I know, but it’s just a super relaxing read. I grabbed it from a bookshop in Bristol recently and it’s one of those things you take a punt on, and are then glad you did. Wonderful, relaxing prose to enjoy before a solid night’s sleep.
Stories from the Music Industry:
Deezer’s ‘artist-centric’ model now has a new ‘user-centric’ element which, despite not really being ‘user-centric’, is quite a clever idea.
Let’s say an individual subscriber to Deezer plays 2,000 streams in a month, which is a clear 1,000 streams above Deezer’s stated ‘monetization cap’. At the end of that month, the total volume of streams that this individual’s plays get allocated within Deezer’s ‘pro-rata’ central royalty pool remains capped at 1,000 streams. Therefore, the 2,000 streams our hypothetical individual played across the month on Deezer would each be counted at 50% weighting – i.e. 0.5 streams apiece.
👆🏻Hot take: all credit to Deezer, this feels like a very smart means to address streaming fraud and general fixing on streaming payouts. Your move, Spotify!
A deal announced today between the video platform and DistroKid could bring millions of songs by independent artists to TikTok Music, the platform’s subscription-driven streaming service launched earlier this year. The service, so far, is limited to just a handful of countries — Indonesia, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Singapore — but could be appealing to up-and-coming musicians looking for a viral breakout.
👆🏻Hot take: this arguably highlights the power of that long tail of DIY artists - the kind that Universal seem to take issue with. The fact this deal is newsworthy says it all.
Adds Dina LaPolt, a music attorney with a long history of grappling with labels over contracts: “Now, because of all this Taylor Swift stuff, we have an even new negotiation. It’s awful. We’re seeing a lot of ‘perpetuity.’ When we were negotiating deals with lawyers, before we would get the proposal, we’d get the phone call from the head of business affairs. We literally would say, ‘If you send that to me, it will be on Twitter in 10 minutes.’ It never showed up.”
👆🏻Hot take: I think this makes for great headlines, but the power has long since shifted to artists IMO. Artists hold so much bargaining power that I very much doubt they would accept these terms. The real victims will be the new artists who get signed who are basically unknowns, but that then dovetails into a whole other tangent regarding weak A&R practices at labels and majors chasing TikTok viral tracks to sign etc.
According to Music Industry Forum, more than half a million people have downloaded the KulturPass app so far. “We are firmly convinced of the potential of the Culture Pass and would find it a devastating signal – both for young people as well as for the cultural workers and cultural places in our country – to not give the pilot project any opportunity for further development after its promising start,” said its statement.
👆🏻Hot take: I love the KulturPass concept and wish more countries would look into replicating it. That being said, I’m also curious to get feedback from industry readers in Germany as to whether they feel it has proven effective.
“Ticketmaster does not have the unilateral right to do that, as it is an agent for the venues that issue tickets and along with content owners (artists, sports teams, etc.) determine ticket pricing and how fees are displayed,” he wrote. So, Live Nation has adopted all-in pricing for its own concert venues and festivals, but according to its CEO it cannot yet do that for concerts at venues owned or operated by other companies.
👆🏻Hot take: a fair response from Rapino here.
Stories from the Broader World of Tech:
€9.99 a month to escape a barrage of ads might not seem such a horrible proposition for everyone — although, given Meta’s revenue model, one that the tech giant did not want to have to make. “We believe in a free, ad-supported internet – and will continue to offer people free access to our personalised products and services regardless of income,” the company said in a statement. However, it said it was introducing the new subscription model to comply with European Union regulations.
👆🏻Hot take: this will prove an extremely interesting test. Will people actually pay to remove ads? I’m very sceptical. I just don’t think people will see the value here.
Besides whether and how Threads might introduce an API, it’s an open question whether and how the platform will tackle integration with the open social media protocol ActivityPub. Mosseri has openly committed to tying Threads to the open social media protocol. It’s even made a small step in that direction, making it possible to verify your Threads profile in the so-called fediverse. If it really starts supporting ActivityPub, you could start seeing Threads posts in a fediverse feed that also includes posts from Mastodon, Reddit alternative Lemmy, and any other platform that runs on the protocol.
👆🏻Hot take: good to see the Threads team recognising where the product needs to go. As someone keen to quit Twitter, I feel Threads has to adopt features like this to really step up and compete.
The United Nations kicked it off last week with its creation of a new ‘artificial intelligence advisory board’ that will focus on “risks, opportunities and international governance of artificial intelligence”. The board includes a mix of political figures, academic experts and tech execs (Microsoft, Google, OpenAI and Sony included). Second, the Group of Seven industrial countries (G7) are set to agree “a code of conduct for companies developing advanced artificial intelligence systems” today, according to Reuters. It will be a voluntary code with 11 points that “aims to promote safe, secure, and trustworthy AI worldwide” – including generative AI systems. Finally, US president Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order today focused on AI.
👆🏻Hot take: personally I see these as positive developments. Doubtless regulation will take some time to straighten itself out and prove effective, but this is still better than nothing.
Need something else to read? Here you go:
We can create an environment with competition, evolution and life, but without the parasites
👆🏻Hot take: this is a terrific response to *that* article published by a16z, showing far more real world pragmatism than most criticisms I’ve seen. Well worth your time.
Hackers 'ACG' popped champagne and bought sports cars. Then the group and its associates ushered in a bold new era of crime where anything is possible.
👆🏻Hot take: (yet) another page-turner of a read regarding crypto criminals and how they wind up getting caught. Compelling stuff.
We've been friends with the Signature Brew team for over a decade now, having collabed on various artist beers in that time. They're become a go-to on that front, given they've worked with more musicians and bands than any other beer brand (seriously - just check the name drops in that video above!). They're now raising another round of funding to continue their growth, and are taking investment via the Seedrs platform.
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